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Nintendo's first basketball game for the GameCube continues the series that began in 1998 on the Nintendo 64. Along with 31 NBA teams and players from the 2001-2002 season, the game offers four modes of play: Quick Play, Arcade Play, NBA Season Play, and Skills Mode. Over 2,000 motion-captured moves have been included for realism.
Quick Play is equivalent to an exhibition match, a single game pitting two teams against each other, while NBA Season Play involves guiding a team through an adjustable schedule of 13/14, 28, 56, or 82 games. An optional Fantasy Draft allows players to pick the athletes they want on their team(s) from the complete pool of NBA talent.
Arcade Play takes a page from NBA Jam, as two teams play an exaggerated game of three-on-three hoops from a rooftop court. Hot Spots randomly appear for a chance to score extra points if the shot is made while standing on them. Skills Mode consists of two events: a standard 3-point contest and a practice mode to brush up on moves.
Unique to NBA Courtside 2002 is an Adrenaline Meter used to boost a player's speed, perform special dribbles or dunks, and improve his chances of blocking a shot or stealing the ball. Different moves are available by pressing the button in different increments, so lightly tapping Adrenaline could result in a quick juke instead of a strong charge.
A Create-Player option is also present, allowing players to disperse 260 points among such areas as stamina and 3-point shooting. Additional points are earned after playing games. Management options include trades, signing free agents, and modifying starting lineups. Three levels of difficulty are available, and complete stats and season progress can be saved to memory card. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide